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Gifted [Kindle Edition]

David Bridger

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Book Description

Four weeks ago she was a normal schoolgirl looking forward to the summer holidays. Now she's her family's only hope, with several lifetimes of experience in her memories and a dangerous battle ahead.

When sixteen-year-old Jessica's reclusive great-grandfather bequeaths her a haunted castle in the Welsh borderlands, she's thrust into a world of hostile strangers, troublesome Romany tenants, and a strange gift that shows her disjointed visions of the past. And that's only the start of it. She thinks she's going mad, until old family stories and the superstitious fears of locals convince her that something sinister really is going on at Kidd Castle, and all the while the gift keeps drawing her deeper into the secrets of her ancestors.

The only person who seems to understand what's happening to her is the young Romany street artist, Joe. In the face of deadly danger to them and their loved ones, Jessica and Joe must master the gift before the past imposes its terrible will on the present.

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More About the Author

David Bridger and his family settled with their two monstrous hounds in England's West Country after twenty years of ocean-based mischief, during which he worked at various times as a lifeguard, a sailor, an intelligence gatherer and an investigator in the Royal Navy. Now he writes science fiction and fantasy for teens.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read that made me stay up very late so I could finish it. 2 May 2014
By A. Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Part mystery, part magic, part family saga, part romance, this book has it all. As she learns to control her new powers, sixteen-year-old Jessica finds the clues to her own future hidden inside the secrets of her family's past.

Readers who loved Gifted would also enjoy The Crow Road by Iain Banks.
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, unsettling, and thought provoking. 13 May 2015
By Margaret Fisk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over

David Bridger is a very talented author whom I had the luck to encounter when he was just starting out. Since then, I have picked up most if not all of his titles, though I haven’t always had the chance to read them yet. Such was the case with Gifted, which waited patiently until now, so imagine my surprise when it felt very familiar. I originally thought it was a new book set in a world known to me, but then realized it was a reboot of an older book.

I’ve never read a reboot in book form before (though it happens with movies all the time) and found the process rather fascinating. The main characters in the modern timeline are new and different in so many ways while the older characters in the other timelines have only minor changes, at least based on my memory of The Weaverfields Heir, read a handful of years ago or more.

Gifted is a strong book that stands alone. At the same time, for those who read the first version, I can say that I, who does not tend to reread books, enjoyed this version a lot. The strength of the world with its characters having a connection to the fabric of the universe is still there. The way that power can warp perception is also there, preying on the good and evil in all of us. Also evident is the strength of purpose in Jessica when she takes on her newly discovered extended family while at the same time trying to find a way to help them.

This is a magical realism story in a lot of ways, though borrowing more from Romany culture than Latin American, but fundamentally it’s a people story. You get to visit the lives of many characters whose histories are planted on the net, as the connection is called, in all their glorious and hideous detail. Through three separate generations of net holders, Gifted explores the ways such power to control and manipulate can be used and misused, as well as what affect it has on the user. Jessica and Joe are the newest to the net, but they can learn from Nick, Peter, and Catherine both the beauties and the costs of their unusual inheritance.

The book includes cruelty, detailed sex scenes, betrayal, and consequences. It’s not a light read by any means. At the same time, Gifted explores the human psyche deeply both in moments of love and ones of madness. I’m glad I had the chance to experience this take on the earlier story. It’s powerful, unsettling, and thought provoking.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific story of kickass young heroine's who inherits family "gift" which both enriches and corrupts across generations 15 May 2014
By Barb Taub - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
A few weeks ago, Joss Whedon made movie news with the direct release to fandom of his Tribeca-premiered new movie, In Your Eyes. It had a cute meet between two quirky costars, Whedon’s trademark trope-juggling, and Sure Thing written all over it. Certainly the trailer sounds great—two kids from opposite sides of the country who are different in almost every way (except, of course, for being young, attractive, and white), who can see through each other’s eyes. How many places could you go with that premise, from criminal masterminds, to pushing boundaries of personal identity, to exploring the fun-sounding but possibly completely creepy reality of literally being in another’s head. No such luck. The only exploring they do is to view their by-the-books typecast supporting cast who Don’t Understand Them, followed by the obligatory mutual masturbation scene (betcha just didn’t see that coming…). These two are so completely wet that you could throw both against the wall and they would just make a squish sound as they oozed downward.

But here’s great news! Before you plunk down that $5.00 for 106 minutes you’ll never get back, you could save half and get David Bridger’s amazing new novel, Gifted, which explores the same premise. Only Bridger gets it right. Until the day her world changed completely, sixteen-year-old Jessica always felt she belonged in a mysterious castle she’d only seen in dreams and visions. Then she discovers that the grandfather she’d never met had in fact left her that very castle. In addition, she inherits the family gift – or is it a curse?—that lets her see through the eyes of past relatives. Firsthand, she experiences their emotions, the ways they’ve used their Gift for good, and the ways they’ve been corrupted by it. She learns that her gift, as well as her experiences, are shared by Joe, a young Romany artist. Increasingly, they become aware that there is a malevolent force also sharing their experiences.

Bridger weaves the story across time and generations, building a picture of the family but also a growing sense of the evil that corrupts them. The main character, Jessica, is an irresistible force. She’s brave, independent, irreverent,vulnerable, and fiercely protective of those she loves. As she and Joe inevitably draw closer through generations of shared experiences, she’s not blind to the frightening side of their Gift. The story of their growing relationship, as well as their increasing contact with the evil that shares their joint awareness, is a carefully drawn escalation. As the characters emerge through the family history, we see them grow, stumble, and often succumb to the evil that shares their Gift. But we also sense Jessica’s presence across time, her growing understanding of the enemy she faces, and the feisty, resilient spirit she brings to the equation.

My only complaint, and it’s a minor one, is that I wish the evil entity was less of a shadow. Bridger leaves us clues, but frankly this book had me racing through the pages so fast that I’m afraid I missed most of them. If you can make yourself set the tale down long enough to follow his breadcrumbs, you might see the ending as inevitable. And while I think it could have been stronger if we just had more glimpses of the villain, I enjoyed seeing the final confrontation play out.

So do yourself a favor. Forget about the big budget movie, and read Gifted. You’ll be glad you did.
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading 1 April 2015
By Marie-Hélène Hayles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting and intricate plot, good character development and pleasingly strong female protagonists. This skillfully handled fantasy satisfies on many levels.
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